We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Why Oh Why the “WHOAH”?!?

One of the songs we sang Sunday provided some irritant for me — of course.  It was a new one for me so I concentrated on the lyrics rather than learning the tune, which is what I do with all new “hymns” or “praise songs.”  Well this one has okay lyrics, but I didn’t think the tune was all that good for congregational singing — just one of those “radio songs” which may be fine for personal listening to and/or singing with.

Other than not being a congregational singing song, my other problem was the “whoah” towards the end. This is what soloists do for performances and not what congregations do.  It was just plain silly and I had to shake my head with a smirk while it was going on.  The instrumentalists were doing their thing and the screen had the seven “whoahs” on it.

Thank You Jesus For The Cross

My life lived for only me 
My days spent so sinfully 
My heart was dark, my eyes too blind to see 
My pride destroying me

Your life, sent for sin to die
Your blood shed to justify 
Upon the cross, my ransom to afford
This sinner’s great reward

Thank you Jesus for the cross
Thank you for the price you paid for us
Giving up your life to save the lost
Thank you Jesus for the cross

The crown placed upon your head
The nails meant for me instead
Your death became the only way to life
For me to live is Christ

Thank you Jesus for the cross
Thank you for the price you paid for us
Giving up your life to save the lost
Thank you Jesus for the cross

Whoah, Whoah, Whoah
Whoah, Whoah, Whoah

Thank you Jesus for the cross
Thank you for the price you paid for us
Giving up your life to save the lost
Thank you Jesus for the cross

Please, music leaders, don’t make performances out of congregation singing with all the musical interludes, the “oh, oh, oh” or the “whoah, whoah, whoah.”  We aren’t in recording studios!


Eternity Matters said...

Ugh. Just ugh.

Alec said...

Whoa: Used as a command to stop, as to a horse. -American Heritage Dictionary

Appropriate language for church? 'nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

Ok, I'm laughing. That was our experience this Sunday am too... a song with all sorts of "oh oh oh's" in it. We don't sing when they do that. You are right, that is a performance, not worship.

What are they going to do next? Throw in some scat? (smirk)


Doug Evans said...

When are these churches going to realize that 'worship music' is not a performance piece, but a sing-a-long? Guitar solos are not conducive to a congregation making a joyful noise.

Anonymous said...

We have been going to a church that only sings 2 hymns to begin service, usually by the Getty's or an old traditional one. Then one more during offering. Soooo refreshing! Lyrics with more depth and God's truth & His character. Not all about me & how i feel. One Sunday we visited a church close to home, and they must have sang 8 or 9 CCM songs altogether & I was totally fleshed out, dying for it to end!!!

Anonymous said...

I have come to believe that the music situation in the visible church is no longer a "preference" but a real issue. I believe there is a goal behind the popular "Christian" music. It is meant to create emotions, to create excitement, to gin up energy in the assembly. They don't think the Holy Spirit is needed, they can do it themselves. They don't need Him to point them to Christ or teach them, they just want to feel spiritual. The loudness of the music prevents the worshipper from thinking...you are just supposed to feel instead. You are not meant to sing meaningful words, you are supposed to croon a love song. Instead of real hymns with meaningful lyrics that teach theology that point us to God in Christ, it is childish lyrics about me, I and we. so many of the new songs are about how we feel or what we are going to do: we are going to worship, I am going to praise you, fall down, etc. It is trying to reach the heart directly instead of being transformed by the renewing the mind, as scripture teaches. Along with this we get the performance mentality. Since there is a stage, instruments, special lighting, speakers, the latest technology, etc. and the goal is to make people feel a certain way, of course there is going to be a performance attitude. They are performing, they are trying to influence you. It isn't about congregational singing anymore. It has gone way beyond that. Sadly, we left a church, a solid teaching church, over this issue. It broke my heart but what can you do? They are in the process of building a new sanctuary so it is probably only going to get worse. I hate to be cynical, but the fact is that they need more $$ to build, they need more people giving, so they are doing the music up loud and emotional to bring in more who will give toward the building program. Somehow this is what the young(er) people have been programmed to prefer and so they are the ones coming in.

Anonymous said...

Usually these kinds of churches darken the sanctuary when the 7/11 songs begin. Is that true for those who posted on this article? The only
"Whoa or Oh oh" that we need to pay attention to is God's "Woe!"

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous 3/16 12:42,

I agree 100% with your analysis. The only issue before us is really the depth the individual assemblies have gone this way. Ours at this point seems to have gotten to a place they want to hold. We have good and solid music about half the tim, then we have stuff that is fair like this one, and then maybe 15% which I consider just fluff.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous 3/16 12:55,

Our assembly leaves the lights alone. Our instrumental section is off to one side of the auditorium (I don't like the word "sanctuary") and not on a stage in front of everyone. That is one of the good things.

Jim B said...

Glenn, This is a good example of song leaders trying to stay true to the song and not true to praise. Does keeping the, "Whoah", in the song really help or does it hurt by throwing in useless words? I think any new songs are not worth using for praise and worship due to the lack of scripture reference. The new songs today are more self indulgent than giving God glory. There is a difference between someone who is called to be a worship leader and one who is self appointed. sadly church leaders have no discernment.


Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

I haven't heard the song but I have some observations.

1. The lyrics seem pretty good. I could see myself using this in our congregational singing if the score is fitting and appropriate.

2. The "whoahs" create, what I would call a distraction. Anything redemptive about the text is suddenly lost in the "whoahs." That pretty much negates every though I had in point 1.

3. In reading through the lyrics audibly, the poetry doesn't seem to have a uniform meter so it is unlikely that I could find a classic piece of music to adapt to it.

4. If the meter could be better regulated and an appropriate score could be adapted, the song would be a failure because Whoah crooners wouldn't perform it. Therefore, no one will hear it.

5. This composition will probably never be used in our church.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


You gave me a good chuckle!

I agreed that the lyrics weren't bad, but I agree with you about the meter; I wasn't real keen on the tune to begin with, but when it came to the "whoahs' I was finished.

Anonymous said...

I was seriously curious to know who wrote that song, so I googled it! =) I believe it was written and recorded by the Vertical Church Band. Now I need to google who they are! LoL! I listened to it on Youtube. Pretty...like the typical Phil Wickham, Tenth Avenue North type of songs (and all the ccm that I used to love before I realized what I was "really" singing and whom I was "really" worshipping)! I saw their lyric & chord chart. I think the "whoahs" was supposed to be "oh oh oh" transformed into "whoah oh ohhhh"...another typical worship/love song singing to Jesus like he's my boyfriend! Ughhh! =/

I am ashamed to say that I was one of those worship leaders/vocalist/whatever you call it! Spot lights, extra emotions (gotta let the audience know how spiritual I am), different vocal styles to enhance the song...it was all about me! God forgive me! I was my own idol. I seldom sing or play my keys anymore! It is one of those thorn in the flesh kinda thing! I am ultra sensitive to church music these days!

Ms B